The Mafia,The Drag Queens,The Cops,and Judy Garland

 

 

 

June is "Pride month in North America.I find it suprising how little people know about it and its beginings,I mean where it chose to begin.Gay awareness and support have been around for along time.It's far from just a street dance and a chance to dress outrageously. Nowdays our political voices have taken center stage, and thats fantastic, because thats what Pride is all about, awareness and solidarity.

 

This is where we chose our beginings

 

The Stonewall Inn

The weekend of June 27-29,1969 was a turning point in the struggle for LGBT equality.Gay and lesbian activism existed preceding this time,but the confrontations between police and the peolpe who chose to demonstrate at the Stonewall Inn in New York City became the catalyst of the movement and inspired gay men and lesbians to move their cause to new heights using entirely new tactics.

The birth of the Gay Pride Movement is not without controversy about what actually occurred during the riots.The Stonewall "riots" undeniably holds an honered and contentious place in LGBT mythology and history.

The Riots

 

 

On Friday June 27, 1969 the world was mourning the death of Judy Garland.It's been speculated what effect her funeral, which took place in Manhattan, had on the events that would take place the next day.She was an icon in the gay community.

In the early morning hours of June 28, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a small bar located in Greenwich Village of New York City.

Even though it was run by the Mafia, the bar,like other gay bars in the city, were periodically raided by police.

Often times the more "deviant" patrons ( drag queens,butch lesbians,and queer people of color ) would be arrested and taken away by the police in paddy wagons.While the white customers looked on or quietly disappeared.Then the bar owners would pay a "token" fine, allowing them to open the next day.

This night the charge was illegal sale of alcohol ( it was illeagle to sell drinks to homosexuals publicly at this time ).The raid had a routine of plainclothesed and uniformed police entering the bar arresting the emplyees and then start ejecting the patrons one by one out onto the street.

But this raid was different,customers did not scurry away into the into the streets, instead a crowd had gathered outside the bar and soon after, the crowd had became boisterous, campy,and festive.Perhaps it was Miss Garlands death or maybe the summer heat or maybe bar patrons were becoming frustrated and angery with the regularity of the police raids.Or possibly it was witnessing several drag queens being physicaly forced into a paddy wagon.

Whatever it was, the onlookers lost their patiance.As far as who threw the first punch, there is controversy as to who initialy defied the police.I personaly believe it was a drag queen who later went on to be an advocate for homeless gay.

The crowd had now grown to several hundred people as people in the nieghborhood gathered their friends to watch the spectcal,erupted.People began to throw coins at the police,representing the pay offs and graft the gay bar owners had to make to the police in order to stay open and in business.That quickly changed from coins to rocks and bottles.

The police were suprised and unused to resistance from the customers and patrons of gay bars,They beat those they could reach with nightsticks,but the police were forced back into the Stonewall to take refuge by locking themselves inside the Stonewall.

 

 

 

The first night rioting at the Stonewall ended the morning of Saturday June 28.That night the second riot broke out.Instead of neighbors and bar customers ,word had spread and the rank of demonstraters was in the thousands now,,,,,,,all in the name of Gay Pride,,,,,they flocked to the streets in front of and around the Stonewall Inn.Again there were confrontations with the police going on untill the early hours of the morning.

Eureka

 

Over the next week, the protests and demonstrations continued in Greenwich Villiage,but much smaller.The sense of anger,and the discovery of strength in numbers could match and even defeat police,and realizing that the LGBT community did not have to tolerate the customary bullying and harassment by the authorites would led into a new era of politiacization and acceptance.

We found our voice.

 

 

 

 

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Comments (17)

  1. williamemills41

    “it was illegal to sell drinks to homosexuals publicly at this time”…This is where the problem comes in…how can you tell ones sexual preference by visual observation? It seems these laws were based on ones actions being considered public indecency rather than homosexuality per se, even though it was the homosexual community that bore the brunt of the enforcement/harrassment tactics. It’s annoying that a group would claim they want acceptance and equality and then go out of their way to show how different they are. Same goes for feminists and minorities. If a group of straight, white males did half of what these groups do, we would be in court facing lawsuits from every rights based group in the country, including the Justice department.

    June 03, 2012
    1. duckstar

      “If a group of straight, white males did half of what these groups do, we would be in court facing lawsuits from every rights based group in the country, including the Justice department”.

      what do these "groups do thats so offensive?And DOMA ,a rights based group,was just judged unconstitutional in court.Yes indeed white sraight males can be offensive, and lets not forget the religous right .

      “it was illegal to sell drinks to homosexuals publicly at this time”…This is where the problem comes in…how can you tell ones sexual preference by visual observation?

      In a bar setting I think it would be quiet obvious to figure out who is openly gay.

      June 03, 2012
    2. igloo_chick

      WIll: what do you mean how different they are?
      Hetros commit PDAs all the time, so why should gays refrain? Wouldn’t that be going out of their way to be different?

      Straight white males have been the heart of many of societies injustices since the beginning of time.

      June 04, 2012
      1. williamemills41

        I’m not talking about PDA, although I am personally uncomfortable with doing them, but with the “In your face” actions and attitudes of the ones that are not just living their lives, but are constantly making a public statement to everyone that is in view of them. It’s like they are daring anyone to be offended. And it’s not just a problem with that sliver of society, but I have the same problem with gangs of bikers in leather with straight pipes on their Harleys with the throttle wide open through town, the skinheads with the racist tattoos, the gang bangers in the low riders or the “Dubs” and even the redneck in the sky high 4X4 with Waylon Jennings bliring from $3.00 speakers.

        June 04, 2012
        1. igloo_chick

          Or…they may just be living their lives and because you are personally offended you read into it that there is a motive behind it.

          So basically you take issue with everyone who is different than you?

          June 04, 2012
          1. williamemills41

            All right. You win. I’m a bigoted, racist, woman hating, gay bashing idiot. Have a nice day.

            June 04, 2012
            1. igloo_chick

              The good news is you’ve identified the issue.
              May your journey of personal growth be a blessed on.
              Have a good one!

              June 04, 2012
      2. williamemills41

        And in no way am i going to defend the straight white male that have at the heart of societies injustices from any time.

        June 04, 2012
  2. williamemills41

    Not about being offensive…If a man started a gym and called it “Rodz” and made it men only membership, the feminists would sue after their workout at their all female gym named “Curves”. If it wasn’t catering to Homosexuals the Gay rights community would sue because the name “implied” something that could be mistaken for a gay gym. And the justice department would line up for the civil rights violations of discrimination. And what about the Congressional Caucasion Caucus next to the Congressional Black Congress? Statistically, at least most of them would be able to hold a membrship in “Rodz”.

    And i have known many gay military, construction workers, body builders as well as from other walks of life that showed no signs of sexual tendencies until I got to know them on a personal level. If one is in a society that openly discriminates against them, playing the flamboyant bit may not be the best choice, which is why we have bars that different types of people can be at home in. Trust me on this, you won’t be finding me in any biker or skinhead bar.

    And finally, I wish we could all forget about the religious right.

    I don’t support gay rights. I don’t support women’s rights, or minority rights. I support equal rights and anti discrimination laws for all people, regardless of any other issues.

    June 04, 2012
    1. duckstar

      I understand what your saying.I do see some holes in your logic with your gym example ,but I’m not going to split hairs over it.
      The purpose of this post was to point out that gay pride is more than just a party and political rally.It was to show how we gay folks refused to hide in the dark anymore and was time we stood up to be a demographic like the rest of the country and like most demographics or minorities we have stereotypes like the flamboyant, I guess I can kind of include myself amongst them.and I’m treated with respect by my community.Could it be just a personal issue with you over how we present ourselves?

      I believe gay rights ,womens rights and minority rights, and lets not forget the rights of those with special needs would not be prevalent if equal rights were truely enforced

      June 04, 2012
      1. williamemills41

        I fully agree with your last sentence, equal rights will never be truly enforced as long as there is a profit advantage to it that can be exploited, then profitably exploited to identify and combat it, and then profitably exploited to “correct” the wrong. Unfortunately equal rights has made profitable institutions among lawmakers, law enforcers, and litigation lawyers many times over.

        As far as my issue over how the gay community presents itself, that could be….it’s the whole “rubbing your face in my gayness” attitude, I think it makes more enemies than supporters, and pushes many enemies further towards the edge, re the religious right we talked about earlier. I just think it’s hard enough to make the gains in this screwed up society without adding to the perception and confusion that “you are the same but different”.

        June 04, 2012
    2. igloo_chick

      So let me get your reasoning straight..no pun intended.
      If one is discriminated against being open is not the best choice.
      So the Blacks should have stayed at the back of the bus?
      Bullshit… people should be people…be it flaming gay or batshit crazy White folk.

      June 04, 2012
      1. williamemills41

        I’m saying that being open and choosing to be controversial are two different choices. And think about the equal rights for all statement from above, please, that would include everybody.

        June 04, 2012
        1. igloo_chick

          Will the problem is…you attribute being controversial to things that the individual may just see as part of living their life.

          June 04, 2012
  3. igloo_chick

    Great thread as usual, Ducky. Very informative. Most of what I know about gay history I’ve learned from you.
    yeah, yeah no revoking my Lesbian card.

    June 04, 2012
    1. duckstar

      Thank you so much Ms.Igloo for your replies I so much value you as a friend .Some day I hope I can express myself as well as you do.

      June 04, 2012
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